Militant Islamist Group Activity in the Sahel Rises

Militant Islamist Group Activity in the Sahel Rises
Expansion of violent events linked to an array of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel highlights the growing scope of security challenges facing this region.

Growing Instability in Cameroon Raises Fundamental Questions about the State

Growing Instability in Cameroon Raises Fundamental Questions about the State
A heavy-handed response to peaceful protests have become a test of Cameroonian identity as a multi-cultural state and set the country on the slippery slope of prolonged conflict.

Taking Stock of Somalia’s Security Landscape

Taking Stock of Somalia’s Security Landscape

In this Africa Center roundtable, Somalia’s National Security Advisor shares his vision for establishing a stable Somalia. Priority reforms include strengthening oversight of the security sector and improving security support to rural communities most vulnerable to Al Shabaab.

Lourenço’s First Year: Angola’s Transitional Politics

Lourenço’s First Year: Angola’s Transitional Politics

João Lourenço’s first year in office has been marked by notable reforms and the consolidation of power. If ordinary Angolans are to benefit this momentum must continue, along with institutional checks that can curb the excesses of the past.

Addressing Security Challenges in the Sahel A Conversation with Serge Michailof

Addressing Security Challenges in the Sahel: A Conversation with Serge Michaïlof

The Sahel is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious area that is growing in importance for regional and global security. Serge Michaïlof surveys the challenges to security in the Sahel—demographic, extremist, governance, and more—as well as what has been done and what should be the next steps to address these challenges.

Topic in Focus: Africa Security Trends
A herder in Mauritania

Marginalized young Fulani people in central Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger behave in different ways when faced with violent extremism. Data gathered from 36 focus groups held in four villages in each of the three countries shows that one important determinant of support for extremist groups is experience or perception that the government is corrupt and abusive. Another is whether conflict resolution mechanisms to regulate access to natural resources, in particular water for crops and land for pasture, function adequately. While jihadi justice is seen as swift, if at times inhumane, some young people who perceive complicity between the army and ethnic militias also see violent extremist groups as their only defense.

How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port

China’s infrastructure deals are ubiquitous across Africa. The motivations behind these deals vary, however. This investigative report details how China leveraged the indebtedness of Sri Lanka to effectively force it to cede a port to China. The experience has implications for the debt trap many African countries face, especially with China, as well as for China’s interest in acquiring strategic assets in Africa, military and intelligence interests in China’s commercial activity, oversight over major infrastructure and natural resource contracts including China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the continent, Chinese influence in foreign elections, and risks to African sovereignty.